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Bill Owen XI vs Venturers, Sunday June 7th

Bill Owen 171 Venturers 172-3

The forecast wasn't great for this match but there was only a brief shower during our fielding innings and the day was very pleasant - much like the tea. They batted first and Paul Snow and Kevin kept it tight with long spells to restrict Bill Owen to 68 after 20 overs. Paul removed Bill Owen in a wicket maiden and most overs included only a single scoring shot on another day there could have been another half a dozen maidens. Nigel bowled two spells (a 10 over limit was agreed for this match) and went for just 20 with a maiden and wicket maiden, taking two wickets (Tom R taking a lovely catch at point) and deserving at least one more with the batsman edging behind. Paul recorded excellent figures with 6-0-1-13, while Kevin was unfortunate to concede a few to a big hitter in his second spell. He did bowl a maiden and removed Sara (the dangerous wicket keeper) in his first though. This wicket was remarkable mostly for the complete carnage on the edge of the square after three fielders converged eagerly on a looping ball. The reason for this was that Kevin was running away from the strip and Nigel running towards it. Kevin called, Nigel (correctly) continued and caught the ball, then Kevin wiped him out at full speed. The batsman enquired (rather more persistently than was necessary) as to whether the catch had been held, but it was and once this was finally confirmed he accepted it readily.

We fielded well in general and the other Tom caught the accelerating number three off Ian's first ball his usual slow, straight loosener - making it twice in consecutive matches. The spell was otherwise remarkable only for the ridiculous bounce from the ski ramp short of a length and Ian was nearly no-balled for bouncers on several occasions. The only exception to this was an abysmal attempted slower ball which landed in the (former) potato field at long on.

At 30 overs we had restricted them to 101 with five wickets down, but the number six had a good eye and Mr. Power was aptly named, hitting six fours and five sixes in his 63 not out. This was the main source of the 70 runs scored in the last 10 overs and Saurabh and Kevin (in his second spell) were the main ones to suffer at the end of otherwise miserly spells. Saurabh removed the next two batsmen in separate wicket maidens and was cheap until his very last over while Magic Middup got a somewhat rough deal coming in to bowl during the charge.

The big hitting at the end (losing several balls along the way) had taken the edge off what was mainly a superb bowling and fielding performance. A quarter of all the runs came off two huge overs - effectively in 38 overs we held them to 129. The run rate required was still fairly manageable around four per over. Fluffy and Tom R started cautiously against consistent bowling from both ends but kept the run chase very close to Bill Owen's progress at 18 overs we were just behind with 49 compared to 53. There was concern on the boundary that we would not be able to match the pattern of very heavy scoring later on and as Fluffy pushed the rate he was run out by a very good throw for 16.

Ian was fortunate to be dropped on about 15 before pushing on with a six over the fielder's head on the long-on boundary. He and Tom pushed the score on before top edging a ball down the leg side to fine leg for 32. Kevin and Tom then continued even more briskly, Tom reaching his 50 before being bowled late on with the return of an opening bowler down the hill. This was in the 32nd over and we had 148. Kevin struck his fifth ball for six before surviving a catch behind the ball bouncing out of the gloves although it was nearly recovered twice. Following this let-off he added another six and a couple of fours in his 40 not out from 32 balls and he and Andrew brought the match home with some steady scoring. Andrew contributed a key innings with 15 off 16 balls when we needed to keep it all going with the opening bowler in his second spell. In the end the whole innings was perfectly paced and we won with two overs and seven wickets to spare. Certainly this is a welcome change from the nervous shuffling we normally endure at the end of these 40 over matches - virtually every one this year has come down to the last 10 balls or so and looked uncertain with a few overs to go.

Fixtures & Results 2009

Cricket bat and ball